November 19, 2012

Monday Geology Picture(s): Journey to the Center of the Earth, the Board Game!

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

Journey to the Center of the Earth... the board game!

Over the past few years, my husband and I have become interested in board games. This is because some of our nerdy friends regularly get together to play board games such as Settlers of Catan, 7 Wonders, Agricola, and Puerto Rico. For awhile, we resisted buying our own games. We just owned a few basic games such as chess, checkers, and backgammon, and we relied on our friends’ collections of fancier, more modern board games. However, since I’m a big Star Trek fan (and my husband watches plenty of Star Trek, too), I just couldn’t resist acquiring this board game a couple of months ago:

Star Trek Catan! How could I resist?

This past weekend, my husband and I went to a board game shop (one of the few such shops here in South Africa) to look for an expansion pack for “Star Trek Catan” to allow for more players. We found out that no such expansion pack exists yet, but we didn’t leave the game shop empty handed. We found a game called “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” which is based on the classic Jules Verne novel. We both adore the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” story, including some of the various movie adaptations. Sure, the story isn’t scientifically plausible, but the story helped inspire us to become geologists, so we have a soft spot for it, bad science and all. The “Journey to the Center of the Earth” board game came out a few years ago, and the copy we found in the shop was somewhat dusty– obviously, it had been sitting on the shelf for awhile. The good news was that the dusty game was on sale for only 1/3 of its original price! We were a little worried that perhaps the game was on sale because it wasn’t very fun, but we decided to purchase it anyway since it was such a bargain.

This past Sunday afternoon my husband and I spent a couple of hours playing “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, and we enjoyed it greatly! The game is actually very fun! The game is great for 2-person play and is challenging but not overwhelmingly complicated. The best part about the game is that you win by collecting the most fossils. How could you not like this game? At the end of our first game, my husband and I tied each other with sixty fossil points each. We’ll have to have a rematch soon.

Overall, I highly recommend the game, especially if you are interested in geology. I think I’ll put the game on my forthcoming annual “What to Buy a Geologist for Christmas” list!

Here’s a couple more shots of the game:

The back of the "Journey to the Center of the Earth" board game box, showing the game layout.

Fossil cards! You collect these to win the game. Okay, I know that quartz and gold aren't really fossils, but the game is still fun!